Et in Arcadia Ego

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Et in Arcadia Ego

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This chapter focuses on the future of Western classical music and explicitly states the antiutopian subtext that unites all the chapters presented in the book and considers composition and performance in an explicit conjunction. The marginalism of western classical music, manifested by the decreasing interest of magazines and universities in it, is also discussed. A century-long tradition of reckless, socially irresponsible, and self-absorbed avant-garde behavior in the west, supported by the dogma that art is the concern of artists only and coupled with an ever-increasing passivity on the part of an audience are particularly threatening the continued existence of art music. Public funding of arts, particularly the reintroduction of practical music that would include singing, playing and reading in elementary and secondary education, is also suggested.

Keywords: Western classical music; marginalism; public funding; secondary education; practical music

Chapter.  9905 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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